Ben Dunk leaves Adelaide Strikers, joins Melbourne Stars
Ben Dunk has signed a two-year deal with the Melbourne Stars ahead of the 2017-18 Big Bash League. Representing Adelaide Strikers, he had been thetop-scorer last season, with 364 runs in eight innings with strike-rate of 163.96. Dunk had also played for Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL, between 2013 and 2016, scoring 814 runs in 31 matches at a strike-rate of 129.
"I'm really excited to join the Melbourne Stars," Dunk said. "It's a great opportunity to work with [coach] Stephen Fleming and new captain John Hastings. I'm looking forward to joining up with the squad this summer to work on our pursuit of a Big Bash League title."
Jason Gillespie, the Strikers' coach, dismissed suggestions of the franchise not wanting to sign him, saying it was Dunk's decision to switch sides.
Would have been nice for Ben to stay. However, Ben has been offered an opportunity and we wish him all the best. https://t.co/SG3qnPiqoH— Jason Gillespie (@dizzy259) September 4, 2017
Dunk has represented Australia in five T20Is, the most recent of which came against Sri Lanka in February this year.
"To secure the experience of Ben is really exciting. He'll obviously bolster an already strong batting line-up and to have another 'keeping option is a real positive," Trent Woodhill, Stars Director of Cricket, said.
Meanwhile, uncapped fast bowler Jackson Coleman has also earned a full-time contract with the Stars. In the last season, he was called up as a replacement for the then-injured Hastings. Coleman has picked up three wickets in two List A games for Victoria so far.
The Stars will open their campaign against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on December 20.
Melbourne Stars squad: John Hastings (capt), Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Luke Wright, Adam Zampa